Minimally Invasive Total Knee Arthroplasty


Minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty is a controversial topic in orthopaedics. Across all surgical specialties, more than 300 articles on minimally invasive surgery have been published within the past 5 years. Among these, we identified 69 peer-reviewed articles that analyzed the outcomes of minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty. Although"minimally invasive"is a commonly used term in all surgical specialites and a term patients seem to understand, some orthopaedic surgeons argue that total knee arthroplasty is an extremely invasive procedure by nature, and therefore the term"minimally invasive"is used inappropriately. Our experience with minimally invasive total knee arthroplasty began in 1999, and the first national presentation of our outcome data was in October 2001. Since that time, surgeons and device manufacturers have developed approaches, techniques, instrumentation, and even implants to facilitate total knee arthroplasty with reduced exposure. Several controversial issues have arisen concerning the value of minimally invasive surgery, one viewpoint being that minimally invasive surgery, although useful for marketing and/or promotional purposes, primarly has a cosmetic value and typically leads to short-term gains and an increased risk of complications.

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